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Two-years after wildfire 89.5% of Red Cross funds used

Last Updated May 1, 2018 at 9:57 am MDT

PHOTO. Rock 97.9 Chris Byrne makes a few changes to the 'Welcome to Fort McMurray' sign, following the 6 week evacuation due to the wildfire. NKS Photography. Used with permission.

Nearly two-years following the wildfire and evacuation, the Canadian Red Cross says it has spent $291 million of the $325 million donated.

According to the report, 86.8 per cent of funds were used to support individuals and families, community groups and small businesses.

The Red Cross has allocated $232.8M to support individuals and families, $213M has already been spent or committed to date on immediate supplies and shelter, direct financial assistance during the evacuation and assistance in paying rent, mortgages and utilities.

Nearly 65,000 families registered with the Red Cross and received emergency financial support and more than 1,500 families continue to need assistance.

The organization has also set aside $50 million to support community organizations.

Of the $50M, $40M has been spent or committed to 90 different organizations for emergency financial assistance and longer-term funding for different projects and initiatives.

To support the small business sector of our community the Red Cross allocated $30 million, $29M has been spent providing more than 3,200 small businesses with financial assistance.

President and CEO of the Canadian Red Cross, Conrad Sauvé said in the press release that they remain present in the region and will for as long as it takes.

“The resiliency of the people affected by the fires in the Fort McMurray area two years ago is remarkable. Every person has a story to share of how their lives were impacted. Their struggles are real. Their strength is inspiring. And their circumstances are as unique as each person.”

The Red Cross continues to work with other community groups to ensure services are not being duplicated.

Individuals donated $189 million in support of the wildfire relief, the federal government matched funds of $104 million and the Government of Alberta matched $30 million.

You can read the full two-year donor update here.